Guide to Contesting a DWI Charge In Houston
In Texas, driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge is usually considered a misdemeanor even on the first offense. That being said, you should note that the consequences of a conviction to this charges can have dire consequences as compared to other charges. For instance, a DWI conviction may result in fines, administrative fees, a suspended license, or even jail term.
With these harsh penalties in mind, this guide herein will help you prepare yourself to contest the charges. However, we strongly recommend seeking legal help from an attorney who specializes in DWI defense as their input will increase the chances of fighting and winning a DWI charge. But if you choose to handle the case on your own, here are some important considerations to keep in mind.
Record As Many Details As Possible
Write down every detail you remember about the incident, right from the time you were pulled over by the law enforcement officer(s) for an alleged DWI. Include what the officers said, how they conducted themselves, the variety of tests they asked you to perform, and the other specifics that you deem necessary for your defense.
Acquaint Yourself With The Validity Of Field Sobriety Tests
There are many procedural steps that law enforcement officers use during field sobriety tests to make DWI charges that are inaccurate. Such procedures can sometimes be successfully challenged in court. As such, research everything about the procedures and the validity of the procedures.
Were The Field Sobriety Tests Properly Performed?
According to the National Highway And Traffic Safety Administration, any field sobriety test administered improperly is invalid and cannot be used as evidence of intoxication.
Are The Non-Standardized Field Sobriety Tests Valid?
Some non-standard tests, though common can be considered as invalid and, therefore, thrown out as evidence in the case against you. Some of these tests include counting backward, saying the alphabet, touching your nose with your fingers.
Do Note Breath Test Can Be Inaccurate
It is common for many alcohol breath tests to be widely inaccurate. Importantly, the margins of error can be large enough to aid you in your defense against a DWI charge. Furthermore, the breath test may have been administered improperly, thereby making the evidence inadmissible.
Does Your Case Lack Probable Cause Of Arrest
Law enforcement officers must have specific facts for your DWI arrest. Otherwise, their evidence will be suppressed during the trial and the suspension reversed.
Consider whether there are any extenuating circumstances that may have influenced the field sobriety test. If you have injuries or certain medical conditions, if you are of a certain age, or if you are more than 50 pounds overweight, you can fail certain tests, such as the walk-and-turn test even you are completely sober.
You should use this guide as an initial overview of how to contest your DWI charge. However, it is in your best interest to have the best defense lawyer who has an intricate understanding of DWI defense. Have your lawyer review your DWI case, you arrest circumstances, and everything pertaining to the case to draw up an effective defense plan for you.